Govt-owned firm has no knowledge of $14m transfer: Najib

Tan Sri Apandi Ali, the Attorney-General, had inadvertently shown a flow chart of the SRC International money transfer, said an opposition MP.
Tan Sri Apandi Ali, the Attorney-General, had inadvertently shown a flow chart of the SRC International money transfer, said an opposition MP.

KUALA LUMPUR • Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday that SRC International, a company owned by Malaysia's Finance Ministry, has no information about a sum of RM42 million (S$14 million) reportedly transferred into his personal bank accounts.

Giving a written reply in Parliament as finance minister, Datuk Seri Najib wrote: "SRC International has no information about this issue and the matter is based on a report from a portal with unverified source of news."

He quoted a parliamentary standing order and concluded that "this question need not be answered as it is one regarding the accuracy of a newspaper".

Mr Najib said this in reply to questions from two opposition MPs.

The issue over the alleged sum from SRC became part of the accusations against PM Najib, who is fending off accusations of receiving millions of dollars from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which is also owned by the Finance Ministry.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali on Jan 26 exonerated Mr Najib of any wrongdoing in the allegations surrounding 1MDB.

In the news conference then, he held up documents with flow charts that showed both the 1MDB money transfers, and other alleged transactions involving SRC International.

The opposition said that based on the flow charts, Mr Najib received RM42 million from SRC via a construction company.

Opposition MP Tony Pua had asked Mr Najib, in his capacity as finance minister, about the transfer by SRC of RM170 million to Putra Perdana Construction, with some of the funds allegedly ending up in Mr Najib's accounts.

According to The Malaysian Insider news website, the Prime Minister replied yesterday: "For your information, RM170 million that was paid to Putra Perdana Construction was for the purpose of funding a turnkey development project that was later cancelled, and the money was completely returned to SRC."

In response to Mr Najib's reply, another opposition MP, Mr Wong Chen, said the reply was "shocking to say the least".

Mr Wong, in comments obtained by The Straits Times, said: "It represents a blanket denial of the existence of the alleged transfer of RM42 million to the Prime Minister's personal bank accounts."

He added: "This blanket denial is also contrary to the Attorney-General Apandi Ali's official press statement on the SRC matter, where he acknowledged that the SRC transfer existed but that the Prime Minister is not to be charged.

"The A-G also inadvertently showed a flow chart of the SRC money transfer."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2016, with the headline 'Govt-owned firm has no knowledge of $14m transfer: Najib'. Print Edition | Subscribe